Senior Liv Mellema looks to pass the ball during the Lyncs' loss to Woodinville on Saturday. (Hailey Palmer/Lynden Tribune)

Lyncs almost pull off the comeback, but ultimately fall to Class 4A No. 2 Woodinville

DES MOINES — On paper, Class 4A schools are supposed to steamroll smaller Class 1A schools. That wasn’t the case when Lynden Christian girls basketball took on second-ranked Class 4A Woodinville Saturday afternoon in the Highline Shootout. 

The Lyncs’ comeback bid fell just short, but they took the Falcons to the wire in a 61-52 loss. It was the Lyncs’ first loss of the season. 

Lynden Christian fell behind early trailing 16-5 after the first quarter and continued to struggle for most of the second quarter before finding some rhythm and pulling off a 12-4 run to go into the half behind 30-22. 

The Lyncs took the momentum they started to build into the next half and cut Woodinville’s lead to two points, but turnovers started to prove costly and the Falcons were able to push their lead back out multiple times. 

“Our team showed great resiliency,” Lynden Christian coach Brady Bomber said. “There were plenty of times where they made big runs or we kind of got it close again, got it to a possession or two, and then it’s back to 10 or 11. Every time I thought our girls responded and that’s a lesson I think we can take with us the rest of the way.”

Senior Riley Dykstra said the team got down on themselves after getting off to a rough start early, but that’s something to learn from as they head into another week of talented opponents. 

“We knew they were really strong and it was going to be a good game,” Dykstra said. “We’re playing more tough teams this week so we just have to work really hard, play together and not get so down when we’re behind.”

Lynden Christian was led offensively by junior Lexi Hernandez who scored 17 for the Lyncs while Dykstra added 13.

Bomber said the Lyncs weren’t as aggressive as they needed to be early on in the game and weren’t able to finish drives the way they wanted to. Once the team started to settle down, they were able to build and start runs to get back into the game, he said. 

He added playing in a close game like this one is a great opportunity for the Lyncs to learn from and apply down the stretch of the season. 

“I think it allows you to get a feel of what it feels like to finish a game that’s going to be right down to the wire where every possession matters,” Bomber said. 

Dykstra said playing a team as good as Woodinville and being tested early in the season was good for them. 

“I thought they pushed us really well,” Dykstra said. “They’re just really good and it was fun playing against them. We’ve played against some good teams, but we haven’t had a close one in awhile so I thought that was fun for us. They played really competitively.”

There’s a risk in playing really good teams and it’s that you can get beat, Bomber said. 

“We don’t shy away from that,” he said. “We embrace the challenge because we’re hoping to play in big games like this in February and March as well, so hopefully we can take away a lot of good things from that.” 

Up next for the Lyncs is the Cloud 9 Christmas Classic Dec. 27 and 28 back in Lynden where they will take on Seattle Prep and Sequim.